Jenny Holzer | USA

DODDOACID 008769, 2007

Oil on linen
260 / 200.7 cm

Courtesy of Sprueth Magers Berlin London
Jenny Holzer 2010 ©
member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

Beginning with her 2004 exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, Holzer has made the study of declassified US government documents the content for her context-based practice.

Incorporating memos, sworn statements, e-mails, directives, judgments, and other government materials regarding the situation in the Middle East into paintings, large scale light projections, and electronic signs, Holzer has harnessed a variety of approaches to make sensate the accounting of war and torture. From documentation to material and situational renderings of bureaucracy’s operations, Holzer’s presentations of, among others, Department of Defense, White House, CIA, and FBI documents commingle the need to “get the word out” with the urgency to translate those words to a physical register.

Holzer’s protest is addressed at the events she investigates and explores based on the information she collects and presents to the spectators in a renewed version. Holzer’s new works include a series of paintings and a large LED configuration.

Each oil on linen painting depicts a handprint of an American soldier accused of crimes in Iraq, including detainee abuse and assault. Culled from documents made public through the Freedom of Information Act, Holzer’s paintings refuse to be read from the fixity of any one ideology.

Hanging the hands of the charged next to those of the wrongly accused and those whose culpability has been lost, the artist represents the fog of war.